Thursday 19 January 2017

The ugly truth feminists don't like to face

Polly Phillips

Published 26/07/2015 | 02:30

PRETTY SMART: Ellie Woods in ‘Legally Blonde’ (played by Reese Witherspoon) went to law school despite being pigeon-holed as a dumb blonde. But in the 21st Century will looks be a bigger help to women than intelligence?
PRETTY SMART: Ellie Woods in ‘Legally Blonde’ (played by Reese Witherspoon) went to law school despite being pigeon-holed as a dumb blonde. But in the 21st Century will looks be a bigger help to women than intelligence?

It's a taboo topic, but Polly Phillips says her daughter's looks will take her further in life than her brain will - in the judgemental world we live in, it's better to be beautiful

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As I read my daughter one of her favourite bedtime stories, I should be concentrating on the way her tentative toddler tongue sounds out the words. Instead, I'm distracted by her porcelain skin, thick lashes and golden curls. For while I hope her love of reading continues, and her language skills develop ahead of the curve, I can't help feeling that even in the 21st Century, after decades of supposed progress, growing from a sweet-looking baby to a stunning-looking adult will serve her far better than being top of her class. A taboo it might be, but the tragic reality is her looks could still get her much further than her brain.

I understand this admission flies in the face of the fight feminists have long waged for women to be worth more than their looks. As a feminist myself, I desperately wish that as we continue to hammer on the glass ceiling, how we look while doing so didn't still play a part in determining our success. Yet survey after survey indicates that women often allow how good they look to define them.

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